15th September every year The Engineering Community across India celebrates Engineers Day as a tribute to the great Indian Engineer Mokshagundam Visvesvarya, born on 15 September, 1861 in Muddenagalli Chikballapur, Kingdom of Mysore (Now in Karnataka) was a famous Civil Engineer. His chief contribution to harnessing water resources, Invention of Block System- automated doors that close in the conditions of overflow, designs the automatic weir water floodgates, which was installed at the Khadakwasla reservoir, in Pune 1903. He was counted as dam builder, economist and statesman.
The Government of India awarded ‘Bharat Ratna’ in the year 1955 due to his outstanding contribution to the society. King George V also awarded the British Knighthood the honorific “sir”. Sir M.V. was awarded an honorary Membership of London Institution of Civil Engineers for an unbroken 50 years.
The great scholar and educationist, was the legatee of several honorary doctoral degrees from eight universities in India. M. Visvesvaraya, also the 19th Diwan of the princely state of Mysore in 1912, he had made immense contribution towards the overall development and transformation of state, was then known as ‘model state’.
Sir MV was also a visionary writer of inspirational essays and short books which gives direction to the rove mind of youth. Of these, DV Gundappa highly recommends his autobiographical Memoirs of My Working Life as a book that “must necessarily be in circulation,” and says that for the youth distracted by various ideologies and temptations, this book is like an “unwavering pillar of light”.
Visvesvaraya was a man of principles and values. He has a very candid personality who gave his best towards his profession and country. He upheld a strict difference between his personal and professional life, he treasured cleanliness and was immaculately dressed even when he was well into his 90s. He was a strict vegetarian, teetotaler and a non- smoker, a devotee of the old Indian joint family system. But in business and industry, he appreciated the European and American methods, but in domestic habits he was a perfect Mysore Brahmin. Lifelong he lived a distinguished disciplined life, whereas on the political front, the freedom movement was slowly cresting, Sir M V comprehended the need for solid economic progress, which would make political freedom meaningful and enduring. Science, education, discipline, initiative and hard work would be the tools required to attain that economic progress. Equally, his vision was also channeled by a consternation and distress at the awful poverty in the country, a kind of ubiquitous idleness among people to better their own lot, and generally indiscipline.
The words reflect the ‘Character of Person’, in his words,
“To give real service, you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money.” – Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya.
(Dr. Sonam Dixit is Editorial Director of Global Governance News group based at Kolkata)